I had an idea to make an art quilt with a patriotic theme and using an American flag seemed like a good way to arrange the letters on the stripes. I did a quick mock up and really liked how it looked. When I refined my idea I did spend some time working with a flag that is the actual dimensions of a flag but they are twice as wide as they are tall and that ratio wasn't working for me, so I decided to use my artistic license and go back to my quick mock up, even if it wasn't the correct dimensions.
Next it was time to chose a quote. For most of my other word quilts, the words came first and the image second. But this time I worked backwards. I searched patriotic quotes and found quite a few that I liked but they had to be able to be broken down into somewhat equal length chunks and this quote ended up working the best. This quote had a nice balance because the words and combinations of words all had even numbers so there are the same number of blank squares on the left and right side of each row.
The other quotes that I considered were:
May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please but as the opportunity to do what is right - Peter Marshall
True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else. - Clarence Darrow
Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance. It is also owed to justice and to humanity. - James Bryce
The love of one’s country is a splendid thing, but why should love stop at the border. - Pablo Casals
Now to create the quilt. Like the other word quilts I traced the letters in reverse onto fusible webbing, fused those to a white fabric, and cut out all the letters. The letters were then fused to either a red or blue diamond shape, depending on where they would end up.
Because I already had the red and white stripes I did not add another colored square in those areas but I did to the blue section where I tried to used many blue pieces that had stars printed on them. (Some of the red diamond fabrics also have stars on them.)
All the diamond shapes got a piece of sheer fabric on top. Some of the sheers were in the expected colors of red and blue but others were orange, green, and pink which I thought added a nice subtlety to the quilt. The whole piece is quilted with "x" shapes through the square/diamond shapes using a variegated red and blue thread.
The quote comes from a letter that President Lincoln wrote to Henry L. Pierce declining an invitation to speak at an event honoring Thomas Jefferson. I named this piece "Letters from Lincoln" since I literally cut out fabric letters to put on the piece.